Presented by writer/director/cinematographer Yanillys Pérez

Read a Variety interview with the filmmaker from the International Film Festival of Panama.

Yanillys Pérez’s debut film straddles documentary and fiction, offering an intimate portrayal of a young boy and the very adult challenges he faces. Twelve-year-old Jeffrey works as a windshield washer in Santo Domingo to help support his family. But Jeffrey has big plans for the future: using his talent to become a professional singer of reggaeton music (a blend of West-Indian music genres). With the help of his older brother, he composes and records songs about his life and aspirations. Set in the busy streets of the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Jeffrey poignantly shows that all of us, no matter how limited our means, dream of something more.

Read an MFAH blog post on Latin Wave 12 selections featuring talented women, both behind and in front of the camera.

About the Filmmaker
Yanillys Pérez is a director, writer, producer, and actress. She wrote, produced, and directed Broken Ceilings (2014), a short film made in the Dominican Republic with a French coproduction. Broken Ceilings received several international and national awards and was the first short film from the Dominican Republic to be selected for the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2014. Jeffrey, a Dominican-French production, is her first documentary feature and was the winner of the Discovery Dropbox Filmmaker Award at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Pérez is preparing her next film, Candy Town, which is scheduled to shoot in the Dominican Republic beginning in 2018.

Watch on YouTube

Yanillys Pérez
Spanish with English subtitles
Dominican Republic/France
Running Time
78 minutes
Digital, Color